Audi To Decide On New Plant Location As Early As This Month

While a German newspaper reported last week that Audi had decided on Mexico as the location for its new North American plant, Audi officials have now said that no decision has been made.

Audi spokesman Brad Stertz told Automotive News that locations in Mexico and the U.S. are still in play and that no decision will be made until Volkswagen’s supervisory board meeting on April 18. “It still going to come down to discussion on the board level,” he said.

Audi parent VW currently operates one plant in Mexico and will open the doors to a second in 2013. Mexico would give Audi a few key benefits, including access to growing markets in South America and savings related to an absence import duties. However, Michael Macht, VW’s head of manufacturing, says the importance of a “Made in the U.S.A” tag can’t be overlooked.

Georgia is presumed to remain in the running if a U.S. plant location is made because of its proximity to Volkswagen’s new Chattanooga Tennessee assembly plant that builds the U.S. market Passat.  Automakers like to group plants near to each other to be close to a fixed supplier base, but also often look to locate in neighboring states to diversify the number of politicians in Washington sympathetic to their causes.   This was the strategy for Hyundai when they annouced the West Point Kia factory just over the Georgia state line from their Alabama manufacturing facility.

If Georgia economic development officials remain in the running for this new facility and the jobs that would come with it, it appears they have just over one week to sharpen their pencils.

P.S., if Georgia officials are prepared to give away $400-$500 Million dollars, I would rather have it go to concessions for 3,000 direct manufacturing jobs than to build a new, open air stadium next door to our current domed stadium so that Arthur Blank can inflate both his ego and his net worth.


  1. CobbGOPer says:

    “…if Georgia officials are prepared to give away $400-$500 Million dollars, I would rather have it go to concessions for 3,000 direct manufacturing jobs than to build a new, open air stadium next door to our current domed stadium so that Arthur Blank can inflate both his ego and his net worth.”

    Exactly. Sorry, Artie, but your new stadium won’t create 3,000 jobs.

    • bgsmallz says:

      The Falcons have a roster of 53 players who are paid a rough average of $2.25M per player in salaries (not including benefits). That’s a payroll of $120 M on just 53 of their roughly 300 full time employees.

      So…if the 3,000 jobs being ‘created’ by a plant in North Georgia pays on average 40,000 a year, then it would have the same economic impact as 53 jobs at an average of $2.25 M, right? And that is before you start counting Falcons front office and coaches salaries.

      Anyway, not arguing against the factory and you can certainly argue that creating jobs for 3,000 is more important that keeping 53 millionaires. But then you have to get away from your strictly economics/fiscal mantra and get into an ethical discussion on what is ‘more important’.

      The ‘ego’ of Arthur Blank meme is so tired.

      Quick question…does the meme change if the new stadium is retractable roof and replaces the Dome? I think many of the reasonable arguments against building a second stadium get sorted out if you are talking a replacement building rather than a separate building.

      • Charlie says:

        The “ego” of Arthur Blank meme was created by legislators and government officials who grouse publicly about the way this stadium is being approved but don’t have the stones to publicly state what they will say privately in close setttings.

        As for the 53 millionares, how much of their wealth is spent locally? How many live in Georgia year round? Many NFL players live here already and have never played for the Falcons. Hard to say that the economic impact of the Falcon’s roster isn’t almost entirely a leakage.

        Furthermore, the half billion given to this stadium by taxpayers is almost entirely a direct cash payment ($400 Million plus land costs). The money typically given to auto companies to locate a plant is foregone taxes that wouldn’t otherwise be collected were the plant not to exist. Thus, the state can’t collect property taxes on a plant that doesn’t exist, so going without those same property taxes for 10 years after it does doesn’t really “cost” the state $200 Million.

        I’ll defend subsidies to attract manufacturers who operate plants for 50 years or longer any day. But direct cash payments to billionaires so that they can have an ego stroked every 15-20 years for a new stadium? Pass.

        • bgsmallz says:

          The argument that many NFL Players choose to make Atlanta their home is counter to the idea of leakage, right? Atlanta as a home to NFL players without an NFL team is pretty hard to fathom. And as far as ‘how many players’ spend money locally…couldn’t we say the same thing about building a plant on the state border where the population center of the area is in the other state? And furthermore, it seems disingenuous to say ‘property taxes wouldn’t have been collected anyway’ without giving some credit to the revenues and taxes and economic spend generated by having the Falcons playing 10 games a year in the city. At least we are past the magical idea that the hotel/motel tax would continue to flow like milk and honey that “we could spend on infrastructure” (or whatever thing is more important than a stadium) without a state of the art facility downtown and an accompanying NFL franchise.

          And as long as we are nit-picking, let’s not forget to factor in the costs to the local governments in maintaining and disposing of those auto plant properties after they run their 40 to 50 year life span.

          (See Doraville and Hapeville for examples. )

          Anyway, no need to beat a dead horse. If we want nice things, sometimes we have to pay for them. I think losing the team and having an aging Dome with no NFL tenant would be a damaging blow to the city and the state.

  2. Calypso says:

    And all citizens of Georgia will be able to buy an R8 with the ‘family purchase’ plan.

  3. Harry says:

    A bad presidential election outcome in Mexico and a good presidential election outcome in the US would go a long way to reducing some of the Mexican competitive advantages in attracting assembly plants.

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